Neighbors glad proposed apartment complex is scrapped

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – People in south Broad Ripple are thankful there won’t be a multi-million dollar apartment complex moving in next door.

The building would have stood on the old AT&T property along College Avenue near Kessler Boulevard.

The Whitsett Group (TWG) unveiled the proposal last summer. It was to be called The Link at Kessler. On Tuesday, TWG announced it would drop the proposal.

The people who live immediately nearby are happy. They’ve been fighting this development ever since it was proposed, but just because they pushed back against this one idea, doesn’t mean they plan to do the same in the future.

“We want development, but we want it right sized and what the neighborhood wants,” Jon Hamilton, who would have lived right next door to the apartment, said.

What he and his neighbors don’t want in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood is to see this property turn into a high-rise apartment. Several yards along College Avenue had sigs that read “Homes not high rises.”

“If they put some townhomes in and make them nice, $250,000 to $400,000, they’re fine. That would be good,” Hamilton said.

The Link originally had 205 units and was six stories, but TWG dropped it down in size and occupancy after neighbors argued it would make the area too congested. The revised proposal was four stories tall and had 151 units.

“It’s only a two acre lot, so with 151 units, that’s 75 people per acre; that’s pretty darn dense,” Hamilton said.

He and others also didn’t like Link’s look. They would prefer something that had the architectural feel of the neighborhood. Meridan-Kessler is known for it’s unique brick homes. Hamilton felt the Link fit more along Mass Avenue downtown.

City County Councillor Colleen Fanning, whose district includes the area where the Link would have been built, said she has mixed emotions when she learned TWG rescinded its proposal.

“My hope is that everyone can kind of come to the table with an open mind after the emotions have kind of quelled, and you know take a really reasonable look at what should go there,” she said.

Fanning is confident another developer will take a shot at this property. Hamilton hopes she’s right.

“It’s in a prime location,” Hamilton said. “It does need to be redeveloped but listen to the neighborhood first and what we want and I think it could happen.”

TWG representatives wouldn’t tell 24-Hour News 8 why they dropped the proposal, only confirming that it was no longer on the table.

Neighbors like Hamilton don’t believe their opposition played a huge role in the change of plans. He believes a variety of issues, including finances, ultimately did the project in.

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